Drones are being tested for all sorts of scenarios, whether it be a quicker delivery service for your Amazon order, your Dominos pizza or a surveillance network for your home. Currently, commercial drones are mostly used to pilot around areas with a GoPro-type camera on it. We have seen plenty of videos of Apple’s new HQ, for instance, from drones flying over the compound to take closer inspection. In the near future, drones might even take over our emergency services, with student Alec Momont developing an ambulance drone. The drone has a built-in defibrillator for quick response to heart-attacks, alongside other medical tools.
The ambulance drone will be able to travel at 100kph and is capable of passing through traffic jams and other issues normal ambulances run into on the road. Momont claims due to the urgency in a cardiac arrest, the ambulance drone will speed up the process and potentially save lives. The drone has video and voice functionality, allowing the hospital to respond to anyone in the vicinity and give them instructions on what to do in a certain situation. This should allow amateurs to work with the defibrillator and any other medical equipment stored on the drone.
800,000 people in Europe suffer from a cardiac arrest, and only 8 percent survive. The survival rate could improve dramatically, if the patient is looked at quickly. Currently, drones are blocked from entering the Dutch airspace, along with most countries, but revisions to this law will happen on 2015. This is also the case in the U.S. and other countries, who are looking to make drones part of the air traffic, but only for limited cases.
The introduction of drones might push a lot of jobs, especially driving jobs, out of the market. If a drone can deliver a package faster than a delivery man, there goes Amazon’s delivery partnerships in favor of their own package drones – same with a lot of other companies. For emergency services however, having people on call is necessary, and even the ambulance drone is questionable, considering only 20 percent of people with no medical experience know how to use a defibrillator properly.